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2018 Development Finance Forum: Unlocking Investment Opportunities in the East African Community

September 11-12, 2018

Kigali, Rwanda


  • Trillions of dollars of under-invested capital in the developed world are seeking higher returns at the same time as developing countries seek capital as well as expertise, knowledge and implementation capacity to grow. What can we do now to accelerate these linkages in housing, agribusiness and tourism in East African Community (EAC) countries, three sectors with significant growth and job creation potential? This year’s Development Finance Forum (DFF) in Kigali will bring together business leaders, policy makers, thought leaders and financiers from private and public sectors in the EAC and beyond to drill down together on what can be done to start to address some of the biggest challenges to scaling up private investment in these areas.

    The DFF aims to bring together the stakeholders that can change the risk-return landscape in developing countries - both to achieve clarity on the roles each has to play, and to explore promising ideas, initiatives, and partnerships that need extra impetus to become successful. Through its focus on action and the identification of specific constraints and opportunities in Africa, the DFF aims to offer a pre-investment platform for the public and private sector to explore market-building alliances and opportunities in Africa.


  • The Development Finance Forum is organized by units from the World Bank Group including IFC, MIGA and the Development Finance and Africa units of the World Bank.

  • Focus Themes

    Unlocking Large Scale Housing Supply to Provide Housing for All

    Every country in East Africa suffers from a shortage of affordable housing. Eliminating the housing shortage would create hundreds of thousands of jobs, many of them suitable for young workers, boost economic growth, and improve the lives of millions. This event will bring together thought leaders and executives from both public and private sectors to look at regulatory, supply, construction, and financing issues across the housing value chain. The event will explore solutions being taken within and outside East Africa that encourage private investment. The role of public-private partnerships and new and/or green technologies may also be featured.

    Agribusiness: Increasing Competitiveness with Private investment

    Agribusiness is one of the largest sectors in the region with great potential to contribute even more to growth, jobs, and food security. This forum will build on past regional initiatives to catalyze public and private sector collaboration in agricultural value chains to unlock opportunities for effective investment, increase competitiveness and achieve development objectives. Using the World Bank Group’s “Maximizing Finance for Development” approach as a framework, these sessions will dig into areas such as Regulation/Policy, Infrastructure, and Financing to share lessons of what has worked, what has not, and what can be done better when aligning interests in the agribusiness sector. Technology and regional cooperation will be cross-cutting issues.

    Growing Tourism Through Destination Development

    Tourism is a powerful vehicle for economic growth and job creation. What are the keys to building a stronger and more resilient tourism sector across the sub-region? The Forum will bring together international experts, private sector operators and policy makers to look at successful experiences from the region and beyond in destination development, and keeping destinations competitive over their lifecycle.